RootsMagic Essentials - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

RootsMagic Essentials

CNET Editors' review

RootsMagic provides a set of tools for designing a family tree. With simple directions and an excellent layout, family roots can be monitored from their earliest origins.

The program's interface had us hooked from the get-go. Its simple family tree display and easily entered info meant we never needed to consult the program's instructional Help file. While we were expected to do the research ourselves, the program provided a simple bracket system for mapping out our family's history. We were prompted to enter birth and death dates, photos, hometowns and other important information, which formed a web of details that created a clear picture of a family. One of its strongest suits was the tree's ability to make gaps in knowledge obvious. If a great great uncle was missing, the blank entry was surrounded by other family members with whom we could research and hopefully find the answer. The program appeared to offer a great feature in its simple Web-site-creating wizard. Unfortunately, we were unable to actually view the site due to trial limits, but if the site is as comprehensive as the wizard is, it will be good. While the program required a lot of research to get a full picture of one's family, it was ultimately worth it because of the helpful tools.

RootsMagic comes with the previously mentioned Web site limit and a 50-member trial limit.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 17

  • 1.0 stars

    "Hate to even have to rate is ONE star. Deserves less!"

    July 15, 2012  |   By ganerd

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 5.0.3.1

    Pros

    Counldn't really find one single "PRO" that would make me want to buy the full version

    Cons

    Among many other...
    I HATE false advertisers.
    Program is placed on here CNET as a as a "FREE" program.
    IT IS NOT FREE!! It is buggy piece of crap that as soon as you get anything built, the TRIAL expires.
    The only free program I would even rate 4 stars is on called Gramps. Part of Free community of genealogy ... sort of like OPENOFFICE or Gimp. It is

    Summary

    This like ANY OTHER TRIAL is not worth installing. The only free program I would even rate 4 stars is on called Gramps. Part of Free community of genealogy ... sort of like OPENOFFICE or Gimp. It is EXTREMELY powerful, fast (python driven), but hard to learn, If you have the IQ, that is the genealogy program to have.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Mostly functional; too buggy to buy"

    September 2, 2011  |   By luis_hamburgh

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 4.1.2

    Pros

    Free version does a good job, despite the bugs and crashes.

    Cons

    Very buggy.

    Summary

    RootsMagic Essentials features an attractive and intuitive interface. Appearance is customizable, and even the free version comes with plenty of bells and whistles. It generates well-designed reports, and has plenty of useful tools, like search/merge function and problem finder (parents younger than children; someone died at 152 years of age? etc). I had no problems with a large GEDCOM download, unlike other reviewers.

    However, there are bugs to be fixed. Selecting the "wrong" tab in the program's main window will result in a "SQLite Error 1" -- only solution is to shut the program down via Task Manager. Note:the data has not been lost in any of these crashes, though you'll have to hunt around for the database once you restart it.

    Other weirdness/minor issues: checking the "Do not show me this again" radio button doesn't prevent a window (not the nag screen; this is a different window) from reappearing the next time you boot up. I run two monitors, and clicking on the edge of the program from "the other" monitor makes the database disappear (though, like with crashes, the data is still intact after retrieval).

    Overall this program seems to me like a very good amateur production. A little more professional ringout (i.e. get rid of the bugs!) of the program would make it well worth the full version price.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very useful"

    May 8, 2011  |   By AllanJD

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 4.0.9.9

    Pros

    quite easy to use in most applications

    Cons

    in some points you need to be using it frequently to remember the "how to" routine

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Perhaps all you need for casual use"

    October 22, 2010  |   By jtcxx

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 4.0

    Pros

    RootsMagic Essentials might serve your needs. I've used Family Tree Maker, but only for a few families to generate charts. This program does that and more. Check it out before buying FTM yet again.

    Cons

    None for a free program that exceeds expectations.

    Summary

    If the yearly updates to Family Tree Maker have become tiresome, try this free program--it's surprisingly flexible and unless you're building large databases for export to the Web, you could find RootsMagic Essentials to be all you need. Works well with Windows 7. I mainly use programs like this to create charts.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Buy ANY OTHER program but NOT RootsMagic"

    May 14, 2009  |   By AlaskanPrincess

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 1.03

    Pros

    Lots of research B4 purchase: In reading reviews & details of features RM sounded like one of, if not the, bes.. Unfortunately, the program doesn't live up to reviews. My comments reference Version 4.

    Cons

    Customer service not customer oriented. Program does not live up to reviews.

    Summary

    After lots of resarch I bought RM direct from RM website. WHile they will accept orders from users with 'free' email accounts (e.g. gmail. yahoo, etc.) they will NOT allow registration & participation in user forum with those email accts. Stike 1. At tis point, I considered returning program - wish I'd followed my gut instinct at that point. It would have saved me a lot of time, energy and frustration.
    Email to customer service re: registration issues: ignored/not responded to. (It's been over a week.) Clearly, not customer service oriented (a comment I've read from others posts.) Stike 2. Seriously again considered returning program; more research of programs, figured what the heck - the 3 top programs seem to have about the same features.
    Imported a file in gedcom format: RM did not import all file contents: names and dates only, not comments/info. WHen imported in FTM format, it included comments. (I have no way of knowing if I even got all info in FTM format.) All progams have limitations on what formats they'll import, but I'm not aware of any that say they will import and then omit portions of file upon import. This is a REAL problem.
    As far as 'standardization' of place names - yes, it displays the name as standardized, but then does not enter it that way, but the way I first typed it in. Why bother?? No rhyme or reason to the names it does retain in list of standardized names: places I entered frequently were deleted while name I used only a couple of times stayed n the list. ?Strike 3.
    Data entry: corrupts entries. RM 'changes' entries - transfers data entered to other individuals. (Ex: I entered date of event, and 'Creeton, England' for one individual. Later, for another person, entered date of event and 'Scariff, Ireland' for another person. WHen I went in to edit the person where event occurred in Creeton, RM had changed date (don't remember what it was) and changed Creeton, England to Scariff, Ireland. This has occurred frequently enough to confirm to me this isn't my error in data entry -there's a glitch in RM that's transferring data entered between individuals.
    I just did 300+ entries - all are potentially corrupted. HAve concluded it will be easier to start over - with a different program - since EVERY entry has to be verified. And, no way of knowing, once I make one correction, what RM will automatically corrupt next.
    I suspect my next issue will be problem with return, although RM website claims 30 day return policy.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Great display and many places to work from"

    March 6, 2009  |   By marvinmckinley

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 3.2

    Pros

    Looks good, great displays, many items to work with

    Cons

    I can't find an easy way to transfer information from another tree to Roots Magic.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Good but still lacking"

    October 19, 2008  |   By LiangHH

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 3.0.4

    Pros

    Good design, easy to use

    Cons

    Automatically assumes spouse is of opposite sex

    Summary

    Good, sleak program but the anti same-sex thing annoys!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Versatile"

    February 9, 2008  |   By winged foot

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 3.0.4

    Pros

    There's so much this program can do, I haven't even begun to use all of its features. Great user and product support.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Not ideal for transferring previous database."

    June 19, 2006  |   By ncwriter

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 3.0.4

    Cons

    Trial version does not allow importing of existing database with .ged as suffix.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Great program!"

    March 20, 2006  |   By MMGer

    Version: RootsMagic Essentials 3.0.4

    Pros

    Easy, reasonably priced, and does everything that all the big guys programs do.

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Results 1-10 of 17

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